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Public Books 101

Arts • History • Society-and-culture

Public Books 101 takes a scholarly look at a world worth studying. In each mini-series, world-class scholars and writers join our host to examine a single topic from many angles, opening a window into the conversations that experts are having with one another about the urgent issues and problemsRead more

Popular episodes

Data and Racial Capitalism (with Sareeta Amrute & Emiliano Treré)

Jun 13 • 47:03

In the final episode of our season, "Becoming Data," scholars Sareeta Amrute and Emiliano Treré join our host, Natalie Kerby, to discuss the concept and lived reality of racial capitalism. The episode explores how data-centric systems perpetuate racial capitalism, and how different communities, particularly in the Global South, have resisted this datafication....

Data and Infrastructure (with Laura Forlano & Ranjit Singh)

Jun 6 • 54:19

Scholars Laura Forlano and Ranjit Singh join our host, Natalie Kerby, to explore the different infrastructures that data interacts with and flows through. Whose values get embedded into the algorithms that increasingly govern our lives? How are these data infrastructures complicating what it means to be human? ...

Data and Automation (with Arthur Gwagwa & Deb Raji)

May 30 • 41:46

Researchers Arthur Gwagwa and Deb Raji join our host, Natalie Kerby, to discuss data, AI, and automation, and the different ways they operate across geopolitical contexts such as the US and Africa. The episode covers not only the harms that can result from these systems, but also how we might address and prevent those harms....

Data and Labor (with Shaka McGlotten & Chris Ramsaroop)

May 23 • 01:00:53

Interdisciplinary researcher Shaka McGlotten and scholar/activist Chris Ramsaroop join our host, Natalie Kerby, to discuss data in the context of labor. The episode addresses the historical ways that data has been used to organize labor and the different ways that people, and more specifically workers, are resisting datafication....

Data and Humanity (with Mimi Onuoha & Lam Thuy Vo)

May 16 • 57:21

In the first episode of our new season, "Becoming Data," artist Mimi Onuoha and data journalist Lam Thuy Vo join our host, Natalie Kerby, to consider what is lost when human life becomes translated into data. How do people show up in data, and what are some of the inequalities that result from data collection?...

Introducing Season 3: Becoming Data

May 9 • 01:48

Welcome to season 3 of Public Books 101! This season, Becoming Data, is produced in partnership with Data & Society, a research institute that studies the social implications of data-centric technologies and automation. Our host is Natalie Kerby, a media producer, editor, researcher, and currently, the digital content associate at Data & Society....

Novels and Medicine (with Jay Baruch & Rishi Goyal)

Apr 5 • 57:56

Two emergency-room physicians, Dr. Jay Baruch and Dr. Rishi Goyal, join our host, Nicholas Dames, to consider how novels can inform the practice of medicine....

Novels and Catastrophe (with Heidi Julavits and Leah Price)

Mar 29 • 01:01:25

Novelist Heidi Julavits and scholar Leah Price join our host, Nicholas Dames, to consider how novels help us make sense of catastrophe....

Novels and Intimacy (with Garth Greenwell & Daniel Wright)

Mar 22 • 01:05:10

Novelist Garth Greenwell and scholar Daniel Wright join our host, Nicholas Dames, to consider how novels expand our understanding of sex and intimacy in the digital age....

Novels and Political Consciousness (with Elif Batuman & Merve Emre)

Mar 14 • 01:00:00

Novelist Elif Batuman and scholar Merve Emre join our host, Nicholas Dames, to consider how novels help us develop an awareness of capitalism, power, and the world we live in. In making pain beautiful, do novels depoliticize us? Or can a novel like Sakaya Murata's Convenience Store Woman help us figure out what freedom looks like? ...

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